Bruce Bidgood

Councillor wants social justice

A CURRENT city councillor and social work professor might just be snapping his fingers to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”right now.

A CURRENT city councillor and social work professor might just be snapping his fingers to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”right now.

That’s the focus of Dr. Bruce Bidgood’s campaign this election as he hopes to serve his second term starting this November.

To him, respect means all people in a community — the rich to the marginalized — are considered equally on council, something he says needs improving next term.

“It shouldn’t be just about economics,” he said. “Opportunities shouldn’t just go to people with money. They should go to everybody.”

Bidgood proposed the idea of the city coming up with a living wage for Terrace instead of using minimum wage as a baseline, and then forming partnerships with business and industry who take care of their people.

This will ultimately help sustain business, he said, as those who can afford to live with dignity off their jobs are more productive, dedicated employees which transcends into better service meaning better business.

Integrity to support the collective decisions of council when they conflict with one’s own is another improvement he thinks can be made next time round.

“There’s some issues we’ve been divided on,” he said, explaining he thinks council was unnecessarily at odds during debates about Enbridge and My Mountain Co-op which both used up multiple meetings and time that could have been used on other issues.

“The collective is supposed to be superior,” he said. “There’s always room for improvement.”

Recycling is another issue he’d like to press during the race, along with greater transparency from council, and a more socially balanced approach to community outreach and decision making.

“If anybody asks… I should be able to come out and say why we made this decision,” he said.

Burdening the homeowner by giving tax breaks to big business is irresponsible, he said of the current council’s decision to shift the burden from the heavy industrial classification.

He says here are no studies or evidence to support the position that industry will come here for the tax breaks. He called the shift a case of “desperation economics.”

Social justice front must balance with the economy, said Bidgood.